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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The audiobook of Equal Rites is narrated by Indira Varma (Game of Thrones; Luther; This Way Up). BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually; Pirates of the Caribbean; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) reads the footnotes, and Peter Serafinowicz (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace; Shaun of the Dead) stars as the voice of Death. Featuring a new theme tune composed by James Hannigan.

'They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.'

Everybody knows there's no such thing as a female wizard. So when the wizard Drum Billet accidentally passes on his staff of power to an eighth daughter of an eighth son, a girl called Eskarina (Esk, for short), the misogynistic world of wizardry wants nothing to do with her.

Thankfully Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld's most famous witch, has plenty of experience ignoring the status quo. With Granny's help, Esk sneaks her way into the magical Unseen University and befriends apprentice wizard Simon.

But power is unpredictable, and these bright young students soon find themselves in a whole new dimension of trouble. Let the battle of the sexes begin....

Equal Rites is the first book in the Witches series, but you can listen to the Discworld novels in any order.

The first book in the Discworld series – The Colour of Magic – was published in 1983. Some elements of the Discworld universe may reflect this.

©1987 Terry Pratchett (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"If you've never read a Discworld novel, what's the matter with you?" (Guardian)
 

"Pratchett uses his other world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own." (The Times)

What listeners say about Equal Rites

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Finally a narrator to match Pratchett's prose!

No disrespect to Baldrick or Neil off of the Young Ones but Indira Varma knocks their renditions into a cocked hat, really brings out the writing. If you're a Pterry fan wondering whether to give yet another audio rendition a go, fear not. This is wonderful.

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Gods, the new narration is good!

I've listened to the old Pratchett audiobooks, all of them, but none have done such a good job of capturing the intent and tone of the speech as well as these have!

I might buy all of the new ones as well at this rate. Certainly the Witches series, Indira is amazing!

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Finally!

Discworld seems awfully difficult to get right on either audio or visual. This does.

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Wonderful.

It's so nice to have this book done justice at last. Great narration.
Whoever had the idea of having Bill Nighy read the footnotes is a genius. Give them a rise.

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Exceptionally well read

This is one of my favourite Terry Pratchet stories and I was glad that it was so well read by the reader. Amazing work and I will be getting more books where she is the reader.

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loved it, but too short.

Getting lost in the Discworld and their characters . Onto the next book and more magical happenings.

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Love, love, loved!

My first time listening to a Terry Pratchett although read a lot of them when I was younger, absolutely loved this and loved the reader. Forgot how entertaining they are and have already downloaded The Wyrd Sisters and will definitely download or preorder the rest read by Indria Varma. Would recommend to anyone who loves a bit of magic.

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The modern retelling are superior.

Like Wyrd Sisters, this is equally 'spell binding' with its brilliant plots, excellent presentation and just addictive.

Yet to hear a Disc World book that isn't just immense and these new readings are vastly superior to the already entertaining originals.

Very, very, very highly recommended.

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Excellent

Narrator was amazing. She carried it off which is seems hard to do with Pratchett. She read it aloud how I say it in my head, despite my internal narrator being male, how apt.

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Wonderful

At last someone to do justice to the superlative Terry Pratchett Indira and crew are truly outstanding at bringing this magical book to life. I loved every second and couldn't recommend highly enough

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-04-22

Could not be happier with this performance!

I hung in to every word even though I've read it many times. Excellent job!!

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  • Ragnar Hartmann
  • 29-04-22

Such an Improvement!

Indira Varma brings the characters to life. Previous recordings of the witches serious, was to me like nails on chalkboards with a screechy man's voice applied to Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (who isn't in this book, but still). The improvement is fabulous.
That said, there’s slight volume leveling issues in the first chapter of this book.

Peter Serafinowicz and Bill Nighy are of course perfect when they show up. To me Death has never been scary before, but wow, just wow!

Finally I'll admit the story is not my favorite Discworld novel. It's not bad, but it is mediocre. It doesn't unlock potential the way so many others do, as evidenced by the main character not showing up again for for 35 books (and then said book gets classified as part of the For Kids rather than as part of the Witches series).

If not a die hard fan, I suggest skipping to Wyrd Sisters. Indira Varma's narration will give that book the justice it has long been denied.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-06-22

Disappionted NO choice but the new version.

I really love Prachett's books, but this version is not working for me. I'm having trouble keeping track of who is speeking and sometimes whether or not it's the narator or the character. I find this group of narators keeps losing my attention and much of the comidic timing is gone. I wish I could still get the version with the original narator. I will hopefully get most of the other books befor they replace them with this group of narators. I would like to make a request that Audible doesn't remove the older versions in place of newer,

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  • Marcel du Plessis
  • 08-06-22

Great Storytelling!

Sir Terry Pratchett is a legend for a reason. He is a master of allusion, reference, comedy, world building, and characterization. This is a story far too important to be ignored.

This new production does a brilliant job of bringing the Discworld books to life!

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  • Bart S.
  • 26-06-22

Stellar performance

Charming story, made absolutely delightful to listen through by Indira Varma. Highly recommend this, and I immediately purchased the next one in the series upon completing this one.

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  • Aaron Malek
  • 24-06-22

Proper Talent, Proper Story

This is a great story as always. As new, the narration is wonderful. I’d like this to be less of a review than a Thank You card using less trees and postage.

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  • Carrot
  • 20-06-22

How the Unseen University becomes coed.

The story of Esk and Granny Weatherwax changing the "law" of no women wizards is done in the usual panache that only Pratchett can do. the story is lively and narration was too. it was really enjoyable listen to.

there were several parts that stood out, but the most memorable was the simple statement that magic is most powerful when you don't use it. However, getting to that statement is what makes this story so wonderfully enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-06-22

Why say the tittle is optional if it's not?

A wonderful book with a wonderful performance, though sometimes Esk's Voice blends with Granny's when she's being particularly witty.

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  • n
  • 05-06-22

Give it a try if you love Pterry (or the witches)

The Witches have always been my favorite Discworld characters - I grew up with them - and yet I hadn’t read Equal Rites! Indira Varma does an amazing job with the narration, much better (in my opinion) than the already very good Stephen Briggs for Tiffany Aching. Can’t wait for the remakes of that cycle.

As for the story, it’s bumpier than the later ones in the series - he’s still hitting his stride in these early ones. Totally worth it for an early version of Granny Weatherwax, as it’s still very fun, and for the excellent narration.

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  • Victoria J Gilbert
  • 04-06-22

Not Pratchett's best, but a great world builder

Pratchett definitely got better with time, but this is a good start! It doesn't have the same level of humor as the other parts of the Discworld series, but it does a tremendous job of building up the complex world of Magic therein.